During post induction therapy treatment, patients are given large doses of chemotherapy for leukemia over a period of 5-7 days. These chemotherapy drugs kill leukemia cells and normal bone marrow cells. Leukemia Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to destroy cancer cells, usually by stopping the cancer cells' ability to grow and divide. The drugs get into the bloodstream to reach cancer cells throughout the body. Chemotherapy is given by a medical oncologist, a general physician or a doctor who specializes in treating cancer with medication. Or, it is given by a hematologist, a doctor who specializes in treating blood disorders. The intensity of the treatment is based on a person's age and health. Doctors often give the most intensive chemo to people under the age of 60. Some older patients in good health may benefit from similar or slightly less intensive treatment. After about 1 or 2 weeks after chemo is done, the doctor will check a bone marrow biopsy. It should show few bone marrow cells (hypocellular bone marrow) and only a small portion of blasts. If the biopsy shows that there are still leukemia cells in the bone marrow, more chemo may be given. Sometimes a stem cell transplant is recommended at this point. If it isn't clear on the bone marrow biopsy whether the leukemia is still there, another bone marrow biopsy may be done again in about a week.
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